Anyone can love somebody who loves them back. We know that. No big deal. There are people whose personalities let them almost default to a devoted, loving attitude even while their hearts are lacerated and bruised. One would need to know them well to discern the little ‘tells’ of their woundedness.
“Oh. Then it’s easy for them, right?”
No. It’s harder. They love by choice, deeply and by intent, because that’s what Romans 12:9-10 directs. Yet because their basic setting is to be loving, they do not quickly sense within themselves the normal reactions to having one’s love abused: resentment, dislike, distance and an unwillingness to allow it to happen again.
“So, when they finally do . . .” Damage has been done and things are different. A young soldier who’s had his arm blown off understands. A young woman with both legs gone from an accident understands. They survived, yet the cost? “We can just go back to the way things were.” No. With therapy and practice, the prosthetic arm and legs will serve; but things will never be as they were.
Here is where God helps championship lovers show their stuff. Knowing things aren’t the same, they step up and do their best, anyway.
“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it . . . Be good friends who love deeply” (Romans 12:9-10).
“Keep your eyes open; hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).
“Love one another as if your lives depended on it” (1 Peter 1:22).
“Love makes up for practically anything” (1 Peter 4:8)
Remember: it was Peter who said that. Yeah, the Ultimate Denier; the one who contracted potty mouth when he was pressed about him being a Jesus freak.
So. On this Valentine’s Day, if you have somebody loving you that could’ve stopped, thank God for it–for them. Appreciate them. I’m just guessing, here; but I think this might be a little more pervasive than we might think.
They may never gush or be permanently set on Auto-Compliment like they once were. Yet if their love is still genuine and flows?
Happy Valentines Day.
© D. Dean Boone, 2/14/17